Tired and Worn Out

The Air Force’s test and support equipment for its ICBM force and nuclear-capable bombers is quite old and needs to be replaced, Lt. Gen. Frank Klotz, Air Force Global Strike Command boss said Sept. 16. “Quite frankly, we have underinvested in that,” Klotz said at AFA’s Air & Space Conference. This equipment may not be a glamorous aspect of the nuclear mission but it is “an absolutely key and essential aspect” of it. Indeed, “before you can load a bomb on a bomber or place a warhead on top of an ICBM,” a series of tests has to be carried out using this equipment, he explained. Unfortunately, the equipment is “tired, worn out, dare I say, antique,” said Klotz. He said Air Combat Command and Air Force Space Command are already working this issue, and Global Strike Command will assume the task in full force when ACC’s bombers and AFSPC’s Minuteman IIIs transfer to its oversight in coming months. Klotz added that Air Force Material Command is developing a roadmap for this equipment as well as the other support equipment and vehicles needed to maintain USAF’s nuclear force.